THOMASVILLE — September was National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the club members of the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Georgia are working to stay healthy, fit and lean.

Members of the Thomasville Youth Leadership Council organized daily 30-minute workout sessions at The Club Teen Center to combat obesity.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America offer programs such as Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul. Triple Play has made more than 14.4 million connections with kids and teens, promoting the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition through the program's three components: mind, body and soul.

Healthy habits of the mind addresses the ways an individual's health behaviors are influenced by personal beliefs and exposure to positive modeling. In addition to nutrition education, activities focus on helping youth assess, practice, identify, consider and recognize health behaviors and messages.

Daily challenges of the body focus on physical literacy. The challenges focus on increasing capability in basic movement skills and overall fitness, the knowledge of the ability to play sports or enjoy other physical activities and the intrinsic enthusiasm for physical activity for members to be physically active.

Social recreation of the soul emphasizes the social and emotional development or the social, cognitive and behavioral skills that youth need to be healthy and productive. There is an explicit focus on emotional regulation, healthy relationships and responsible decision-making.

The Thomasville Youth Leadership Council is comprised of teens who completed the health education sessions and showed potential as community leaders and peer educators. The Leadership Council is sponsored by the Morehouse School of Medicine Office of Population Affairs and the Thomasville Rotary Club. 

Thomas County is developing a council that will meet every week and complete monthly health and service-related activities, develop a community project and hear from experts on topics like financial literacy, education and career goals and healthy relationships.

For more information on how to become a member of the MNW Boys & Girls Club, please visit our website at or contact Saundra Austin, teen unit director, at (229) 228-5155, extension 103 or at

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